In 2018, the urge to act to prevent environmental destruction has never been so apparent and many have attributed this new awareness to the BBC series Blue Planet, which aired its final episode at the end of last year. Heart-breaking footage of our oceans and the wildlife within it being destroyed at an alarming rate by plastic pollution made many of us stop and think. This awareness seemed to result in a shift in consumer attitudes and Mark and Holly Day decided to take the matter into their own hands by opening the High Peak’s first zero waste shop in Buxton.
With a career alternating between conservation and IT in recent years, Mark wanted to once again to act in direct accordance with his values and to help others make changes that will benefit the environment. After working with the public and for nature at both the RSPB and community conservation projects, he gained a thorough insight into how fragile our ecosystems are, and the importance of working together to make a difference. He says “For a long time, I’ve felt the most connected when I’ve been working for the benefit of nature and for others. Frustrated by the inaction of big corporations and Government to address environmental problems, Holly and I decided to do whatever we could to make a difference, and the idea of Day Zero was born.”
The ‘Blue Planet’ effect
Mark and his family were completely aware of the need to make a difference, and like many of us started to notice more and more headlines in the news about the environment. Reflecting on the journey that has led to this point he said “We’d been making small changes as a family for the last few years. We decided to use cloth nappies when our son was born 2 years ago, we’ve switched to use many re-usable items instead of disposable ones and we were buying our fruit and veg from a local market without packaging. There have been many small changes and while we did recognise that it added up to something significant, we were driven to do more. When we couldn’t buy the rest of our weekly shop without packaging, we decided to take the next step and create the shop that we’d want to shop in ourselves.”
The number of plastic-free and zero waste shops opening in the last 12 months in the UK has exploded. “The level of interest we’ve had at the shop has been phenomenal. We had hundreds of people get in touch through social media in the months leading to our opening, and it drove us to open the shop for them, as soon as we possibly could. We’re so grateful for all the encouragement and support we’ve had locally since opening.”
Ruth George MP for the High Peak officially opened the shop on Saturday 1st December.
What do they sell?
The shop sells a wide range of wholefoods, pasta, gluten free pasta, rice, dried fruit, nuts, spices, infused oil, cereals, baking ingredients, Buxton Roastery Coffee and a range of loose teas as well as shampoo, conditioner and 10 different liquid household cleaning products on refill.
There’s also a big range of replacements for disposable items such as reusable nappies, bamboo toothbrushes, shaving kits, water bottles, reusable coffee cups, metal straws, books, wax wraps to (ideal for wrapping food or sandwiches), natural and organic toiletries and even recycled toilet paper.
How to shop at Day Zero
Food and detergents are sold by weight so you need to bring your own containers (of any kind), or they sell jars in different sizes, the smallest priced at 75p. The experience may feel unusual at first because we’re used to picking a packet off a shelf, but the team is on hand to help, and there’s something much more satisfying in dispensing your own.
1. Bring along any reusable container (or buy one in the shop)
2. Weigh your container on the customer scales
3. Use the wax pencil (by the scales) to write on the container’s weight
4. Fill your container with your chosen goods
5. Take your container to the till to pay
Only buy what you need
Not only can you be kinder to the environment but buying everyday household items in this way can really cut down on waste. “You only need to buy what you need” said Holly. “If you only make a curry once in a while and just need the smallest amount of a spice, then you can do that. I’ve lost count of the amount of spice jars from supermarkets we find in our cupboard with really old best before dates on! If you’re baking an occasional cake, just buy the amount of flour you need. No waste and you can save money too.”
As consumers, we have the buying power. “By making collective, small changes together by the way we shop, big changes can be possible to preserve our planet for future generations” said Mark.
Mark and Holly are keen on making changes to adapt to customer requests and welcome feedback. “If there’s something we don’t sell that you really want – tell us and we’ll do our best to get it in for you.” They plan to stock more and more every day items as time goes on.
Day Zero are also part of the national water bottle Refill scheme. The national campaign works by connecting people who are looking for water with thousands of local business, transport hubs and public spaces where they can Refill for free.
Parking can be found at the nearby Market Place (limited on market days Tuesdays and Saturdays), Market Street car park, The Slopes car park and College Road. There is a 40 minute loading bay outside the shop and Day Zero can hold customers’ shopping until you are ready to stop outside and collect.
30 High Street, Buxton, SK17 6EU
Monday & Tuesday 10am – 4.30pm
Thursday 10am – 7pm
Friday 10am – 4.30pm
Saturday 10am – 5pm
Sunday 10am – 4pm